Mysteries and thrillers topped circulation lists at local libraries last year, with a few exceptions

Non-fiction 'Hillbilly Elegy' led at some branches
Mysteries and thrillers topped circulation lists at local libraries last year, with a few exceptions
Posted at 6:13 AM, Feb 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-26 06:13:43-05

CINCINNATI -- Everyone loves a good thriller.

That's evident from the list of the most popular books at libraries across Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky in 2017.

Mysteries and thrillers by James Patterson, John Grisham and Jodi Picoult filled the lists of most requested books from the Boone and Kenton county libraries, and those authors wrote the books most circulated at 17 of the 39 branches of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County.

Page-turners like those written by Liane Moriarty and David Baldacci, Harlan Coben and Sue Grafton always fly off the shelves, said David Siders, Cincinnati library manager. Librarians keep close watch on the circulation charts, buying extra copies to keep waits short on the most popular books and trying to anticipate trends.

But, Siders said, they also try to expand people's reading lists with diverse book club selections and book displays. The new-fiction display at the Main Library is changed nearly every day because people clean it out.

"It gets devoured," Siders said.

So sometimes books bubble up to the top of the circulation lists through word of mouth and pop-culture influence.

Award-winners often will take the top spot, as "The Underground Railroad," Colson Whitehead's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, has at the Pleasant Ridge and Oakley branches. (It doesn't hurt that Whitehead will visit Cincinnati this summer, speaking at the Mercantile Library in June.)

News and politics can spark people's interest in books, as with "Hillbilly Elegy," a controversial memoir by Middletown native J.D. Vance. TV and movie adaptations also will put books into heavy rotation, and Siders expects Margaret Atwood's novel "The Handmaid's Tale" to climb the circulation charts when the Hulu adaptation premieres its second season in 2018.

Authors like Neil Gaiman, whose work spans multiple genres and appeals to every age group, might not always have books in the top 10, but their books never stay on the shelves long, Siders said. And that likely explains why Gaiman's library event sold out so quickly.

But, of course, nothing has the power of Oprah Winfrey, said Siders, who has worked at the library for 29 years.

"When Oprah's Book Club took off, it was a phenomenon that blew us all away," Siders said. "We were still answering phones then (to take book requests), and every time she announced a new book, the calls would start. Everyone wanted those books."

This year, Winfrey's influence could have you picking up the children's classic "A Wrinkle in Time." (She appears in the upcoming movie adaptation alongside Reese Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling.) But if contemporary fiction is more your style, you might be interested in Oprah's latest book club pick, "An American Marriage," by Tayari Jones.

Chart-toppers in Northern Kentucky:

Boone County Library

  1. "The Black Book," James Patterson
  2. "Never Never," James Patterson
  3. "Camino Island," John Grisham
  4. "Cross the Line," James Patterson
  5. "The 16th Seduction," James Patterson

Kenton County Library

  1. "Camino Island," John Grisham
  2. "The Whistler," John Grisham
  3. "Small Great Things," Jodi Picoult
  4. "Come Sundown," Nora Roberts
  5. "Into the Water," Paula Hawkins

Top books from every branch of the Cincinnati/Hamilton County Public Library system:

  • E-Books: "Truly Madly Guilty," Liane Moriarty
  • Main: "The Whistler," John Grisham
  • Anderson: "The Nightingale," Kristin Hannah
  • Avondale: "Kurdish Readers," Jamal Jalal Abdulla
  • Blue Ash: "The Fix," David Baldacci
  • Bond Hill: "Never Never," James Patterson
  • Cheviot: "The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches," Alan C. Bradley
  • Clifton: "Commonwealth," Ann Patchett
  • College Hill: "Copy Cat," Kimberla Lawson, Roby
  • Corryville: "We Should All Be Feminists," Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • Covedale: "What Remains of Me," Alison Gaylin
  • Deer Park: "Never Never," James Patterson
  • Delhi Township: "Never Never," James Patterson
  • Elmwood Place: "Serpent's Kiss: A Witches of East End Novel," Melissa de la Cruz
  • Forest Park: "The Black Book," James Patterson
  • Green Township: "Never Never," James Patterson
  • Green Hills: "The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper," Phaedra Patrick
  • Groesbeck: "Small Great Things," Jodi Picoult
  • Harrison: "Never Never," James Patterson
  • Hyde Park: "Hillbilly Elegy," J.D. Vance
  • Loveland: "Camino Island," John Grisham
  • Madeira: "Hillbilly Elegy," J.D. Vance
  • Madisonville: "The Mothers," Brit Bennett
  • Mariemont: "Hillbilly Elegy," J.D. Vance
  • Miami Township: "The Sandman," Neil Gaiman
  • Monfort Heights: "Never Never," James Patterson
  • Mount Healthy: "Gnarr: How I Became the Mayor of a Large City in Iceland and Changed the World," Jon Gnarr
  • Mount Washington: "Camino Island," John Grisham
  • North Central: "Small Great Things," Jodi Picoult
  • Northside: "Work Like Any Other," Virginia Reeves
  • Norwood: "Let the Great World Spin," Colum McCann
  • Oakley: "The Underground Railroad," Colson Whitehead
  • Pleasant Ridge: "The Underground Railroad," Colson Whitehead
  • Price Hill: "The 16th Seduction," James Patterson
  • Reading: "Never Never," James Patterson
  • Sharonville: "Camino Island," John Grisham
  • St. Bernard: "The Muse," Jessie Burton
  • Symmes Township: "Hillbilly Elegy," J.D. Vance
  • Walnut Hills: "Never Never," James Patterson
  • West End: "Charlotte," Blake Karrington
  • Westwood: "Hillbilly Elegy," J.D. Vance
  • Wyoming: "Small Great Things," Jodi Picoult